Friday's 2016 football season opener for the Wayne High Blue Devils didn't start very well, but it had an exciting finish.
The Blue Devils spotted defending Class C-1 champion and preseason No. 2-ranked Columbus Scotus 21 points in the first six minutes of the game, but came within a two-point conversion of tying the game before finally falling to the Shamrocks 37-26 at Wayne State College's Memorial Stadium in the debut for both teams.
Scotus marched down the field and scored on their first three possessions to take a quick 21-0 advantage, but Tyler Pecena broke a pair of long touchdown runs to get Wayne back in the game, as they trailed 28-14 after one quarter.
After having its pride bruised in the first six minutes, the Wayne defense picked up its game against the bigger Shamrock offensive line and managed to keep the visitors off the scoreboard until midway through the fourth quarter. The offense, meanwhile, came through in the third quarter when Beau Bowers lobbed a fourth-down pass in the corner that Ryan Jaixen hauled down to make it a 28-20 game on the opening drive of the third quarter.
Wayne's defense came through with a big turnover deep in Scotus territory and capitalized on Pecena's third touchdown run of the night. Wayne had a chance to tie the game on a two-point conversion, but Bowers slipped as he tried to turn upfield into an opening near the goal line and the score remained 28-26 midway through the third.
Wayne had another opportunity to potentially take the lead, but Scotus held and got a field goal midway through the fourth to make it 31-26. They would score a late touchdown to put the game out of reach, dropping the Blue Devils to 0-1 on the season.
Wayne is on the road for the next two weeks, starting with a 7 p.m. matchup Friday against Boone Central/Newman Grove.
Columbus Scotus 37, Wayne 26
Wayne 14 0 12 0 - 26
Col. Scotus 28 0 0 9 - 37
SCOTUS - Anthony Kosch 1 run (Evan Chohon kick)
SCOTUS - Dalton Taylor 41 pass from Tyler Palmer (Chohon kick)
SCOTUS - Matt Strecker 46 run (Chohon kick)
WAYNE - Tyler Pecena 42 run (Grayson McBride kick)
SCOTUS - Zack Beiermann 2 run (Chohon kick)
WAYNE - Pecena 61 run (McBride kick)
WAYNE - Ryan Jaixen 26 pass from Beau Bowers (kick failed)
WAYNE - Pecena 6 run (run failed)
SCOTUS - Chohon 46 field goal
SCOTUS - Beiermann 12 run (kick failed)